Fixing A Maytag Washer 5d Error Code in 5 Simple Steps

Newer model Maytag washers have small LCD screens that display messages from the machine’s internal computer to the end user. These messages are typically displayed as two-digit codes (error codes) designed to alert the user to a specific problem when one occurs. 

One of the most common error codes users experience when operating a Maytag washer is “5D.” When looking up this code in the user manual to identify the problem, however, the code does not exist. This is because the error code is actually “SD.” The code is often mistakenly read as “5D” because of the small screen’s limitations. 

So, what exactly does the error code “SD” mean and how can you fix the issue and get back to getting your laundry done? In the information that follows, I will explain what the code means, what causes the washer to show this code, and a step-by-step guide to fixing the issue. By the time you reach the end of this article, you’ll have a better understanding of how to fix and prevent this common malfunction in the future. 

What Does A 5d Error Code Mean

When a Maytag washer displays the SD error code, it is telling you that there are too many suds in the machine. If there are excessive suds in the tub, the machine can’t spin properly to remove all the water. As a result, the machine will pause to add more water and extend the rinse cycle to try to clear the problem. If the problem cannot be cleared by the machine, it will stop operation completely and display the SD error code to indicate an issue. 

Are 5d or Sd Error Codes The Same

The short answer is yes; the 5D and SD error codes are the same. The correct code is SD, but because of the small screen’s limitations, the code appears to many people as 5D. If you look in the owner’s manual for the washer to learn what the 5D error code means, you won’t be able to find it since the code doesn’t exist. If you look up the code SD, however, you’ll find that it means excessive suds in the machine. Doing a Google search for either version of the error code will reveal the right results as both codes are used interchangeably among users and repair personnel. 

What Causes The Maytag Washer 5d or Sd Error Code

There are a handful of reasons you are seeing the Maytag 5D error code. None of them is too serious in nature, and you should be able to fix the situation yourself in just a few minutes. 

1. Too Much Detergent

Many people make the mistake of thinking the more detergent you put in the washer, the cleaner the clothes will be. This simply isn’t true, as too much soap can cause the machine to use excess water and time to rinse the suds away. Using too much detergent can also leave a residue on your clothes that can weaken the fibers and cause irritation on sensitive skin. 

The best thing to do is to follow the directions on the back of the detergent bottle for the type and size load you are washing. 

2. Incorrect Detergent

Today’s washing machines are high-efficiency models that require less detergent and fewer suds to get clothes clean. This means you should be using only high-efficiency (HE) detergent in a newer machine.

Not all laundry detergents are created equal, so if you have a high-efficiency Maytag washing machine, make sure you are using the right kind of soap for the job such as Tide High-Efficiency Detergent available at Amazon.com

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3. Blockage in Drain Line

If the drain hose leading out of your Maytag washer becomes clogged or kinked, water cannot drain from the machine properly. This may cause the appliance to throw the SD error code as there will be too much water and too many suds in the tub. 

4. Clogged Drain Pump

Just as a clogged drain hose can cause an SD error code, so can a clogged drain pump. If water cannot be pumped from the machine effectively because the drain pump has a blockage, the SD error code may show up, prompting you to clear the blockage. If you are seeing the SD code and there is still water in the tub, the likely cause is a blocked drain hose or drain pump. 

How To Fix Maytag Washer 5d Error Code in 5 Steps

Now that you know what might be causing the 5D/SD error code on your Maytag washer, let’s fix the issue by following the steps below. 

1. Remove Residual Detergent 

If your washer has detected excess suds, allow it to complete its operation. This might include multiple cycles of rinsing and draining to remove the extra soap. If you are using the correct type and amount of soap but your machine still displays the SD error code, you may need to run a “Clean Washer” cycle to get rid of any residual soap that has built up inside the machine. Your owner’s manual will have instructions for conducting this cleaning cycle. 

2. Check the Drain Hose is Clear

Washing machines generate lint that leaves the machine when it drains. This lint can build up in the drain hose. Alternatively, the drain hose can become kinked or crushed, especially if the machine has been moved recently. If you are using the right soap in the right amounts, but keep getting the SD code, take a look at the drain hose to ensure it doesn’t have a blockage of some sort that is restricting water flow. 

3. Inspect Drain Pump and Filter for Blockage

If the drain hose isn’t clogged, the next step is to check the drain pump for blockages. Again, lint and other debris from the washer can get caught in the pump and impede water flow. Also, if your machine has one, check and clean any filters along the drain system to ensure water can pass through easily.

Maytag Washer 5d Error Code - replace drain pump

The better water flows, the less likely suds are to build up inside the machine, especially if you’re using the correct type and amount of detergent. If you find your drain pump has failed or is clogged beyond repair, it may be worth replacing it. You can purchase an aftermarket Maytag washer drain pump online here for around 30% of the cost of an OE product. I have included a step-by-step video below demonstrating how to replace a Maytag washer pump.

Maytag Washer Repair – How to replace the Drain Pump

4. Check the Foam Level Sensor

The foam level sensor detects the amount of suds in the machine. If this sensor is faulty, it might be causing a false SD error code. You can check the foam level sensor using a multimeter. You will need to unplug the appliance from its power source and remove the cover of the control panel to access the sensor. Remove the sensor and check it using a multimeter. If the sensor is bad, replace it before putting the access cover back, plugging in the machine, and running a load to test if the issue is resolved. 

5. Check the Main Control Board

While this is not a common cause of the SD error code, sometimes the main control board can malfunction. If you suspect this is the case, you will need to replace the control board. If you identify your Maytag washer model number you can select the control board you need here Control Board Catalog.

It is important to note here that sometimes, Maytag washers display error codes for no reason – a glitch in the system if you will. If this occurs, simply push the Cancel/Pause button twice or the Power button once to get rid of the code. Try washing a load of clothes again. If the code appears again, try unplugging the machine for at least one minute before plugging it back in to test. 

Resetting Your Maytag Washer

If your Maytag washer is a top-load model, you can reset it by first unplugging it from the power. Next, lift and close the lid six times within 12 seconds. This routine will reset the machine, and it should be ready to run another load. 

If you have a front-load washing machine, resetting it is as easy as pressing the Pause/Cancel button two times or the Power button once, or you can unplug it for at least one minute before plugging it back in. 

You may also be interested in reading How To Fix Maytag Washer Not Spinning or Draining

Verdict: Maytag 5d or Sd Error Code

The Maytag washer 5D error code is a common occurrence in today’s washing machines. The 5D code, synonymous with the SD error code, indicates excessive suds in the washer, which can impede the machine’s ability to rinse the clothes efficiently. 

If you see this code on your Maytag washer, you might be using the wrong kind of detergent or using too much detergent. If this isn’t the case, there could be a blockage in the drain hose or drain pump/filter. There may even be an issue with the foam level sensor or the main control board itself. 

It is best to start diagnosing the SD error code by ensuring you’re using the correct type and amount of detergent for your washer. This is often the most likely cause of the Maytag 5D error code. If you are using the right kind and amount of soap, following the advice above to check for the other causes will hopefully fix this common malfunction with your Maytag washer. 

Andrew Brown
Appliance Service Technician | Website

Andy has over 8 years of experience working on residential household appliances, performing diagnostics, and repairs across most major brands. He graduated from the Denver Institute of Technology, is NASTeC certified, and has worked for Mr. Appliance. Andy has contributed to features on major publications including Better Home & Gardens, Family Handyman, and Yahoo.com.